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New art prize launched for East London - FAD Magazine

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New art prize launched for East London

Bow Arts have announced the launch of the inaugural East London Art Prize, sponsored by Minerva and supported by East Bank and other east London based partners including, V&A East, UCL, LCF and LLDC,
the Olympic Park Charity. The East London Art Prize (ELAP) will be an important new biennial event, designed to celebrate and showcase the quality of art made by professional artists living or working
in east London.

The prize will include an exhibition of shortlisted artists at Bow Arts’ prestigious Nunnery Gallery in January 2023 where the overall winner of a £15,000 cash prize will be announced. In addition to the cash award, the winner will receive a solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery in 2024, developed in conjunction with Bow Arts and run as part of the Gallery programme. A second prize of a year’s free studio space at Bow Arts, equivalent to £2,000, will also be awarded.

L-R Megan Piper, Sophie Hill, Louisa Buck and Ben Tucker (Partner Minerva) Photo: Alberto Romano

The shortlist and eventual winner will be selected by a panel of internationally recognised art experts
including, artist, Larry Achiampong, curator and Director of The Line, Megan Piper, art critic and broadcaster, Louisa Buck and Ellie Pennick, Director of East London’s Guts Gallery. Chaired by Bow Arts Director, Sophie Hill, the panel will be looking for work which represents the diversity and rich cultural life of east London, one of the most vibrant and important cultural hubs in Europe.

Bow Arts have been at the centre of the cultural community of east London for 27 years, a vital provider of studio spaces, currently supporting a community of over 400 artists with affordable, secure and creative workspaces, as well as affordable artist housing schemes. The Bow Arts Prize is an opportunity to shine a light on the work of this important and much-loved east London institution, as well as providing a valuable opportunity for artists across the area, irrespective of whether they are currently a ‘Bow Arts artist’.

Bow Arts has always been an inclusive hub for artists across the ‘E’ postcodes and the wider intentions for the Prize echo this, including opportunities for all artists who enter the prize to access workshops and events linked to the charity’s Bow Skills programme, supported by the LLDC’s Good Growth Hub.

Sophie Hill, Director of Bow Arts said:

“East London’s community of artists is one of the biggest in Europe, and this prize is the first to
specifically champion, explore and bring out this teeming hive of creativity. The Prize’s exhibitions will
be an incredible chance for people to discover and learn more about some of our city’s best artists;
showing art made locally but from the diversity of culture that thrives in our unique east London
streets”

It is anticipated that the East London Arts Prize will become a valued part of east London’s art calendar, with the shortlist exhibition attracting audiences across London and internationally. With events and special programming to welcome local audiences, including schools, the East London Art Prize and Bow Arts demonstrate how creativity can be an accessible and welcoming meeting point for a vibrant local community.

East London Art Prize Selection Panel

The East London Art Prize is open to professional artists in receipt of a visual arts degree or higher
qualification, currently living or working in an ‘E’ postcode London area. Submitted work can be in any
medium and artist collectives and joint submissions will also be accepted.

Applications should be made via www.bowarts.org from 5th May – 31st August 2022 and will incur a £10 administration fee.


The shortlisted artists will be published in September 2022, followed by an exhibition of shortlisted artists at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts in January 2023, where an announcement of the 1st and 2nd placed prize winners will be made. The winner’s exhibition will be staged at the Nunnery Gallery in January 2024. The East London Art Prize is a new biennial event, with prize exhibition and open call taking place on alternate years.

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